WASHINGTON: Finance Minister Muh­ammad Auran­gzeb arrived in Washington on Sunday with his team to participate in the IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings and initiate talks on a new financial package ranging from $6 billion to $8 billion.

The IMF ministerial meetings and events are scheduled for April 17-19, with additional activities planned from April 15-20.

Mr Aurangzeb and his team have a packed schedule, including bilateral meetings with IMF and World Bank leaders, as well as senior officials from various international financial institutions. They will also hold discussions with finance ministers from China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkiye, and other friendly nations attending the event.

Representing Pakistan at multilateral meetings, they are also expected to meet US officials, given the meetings are held in Washington.

Meanwhile, IMF Man­­a­g­ing Director Kristalina Georgieva mentioned that Pakistan still has crucial issues to resolve, acknowledging the country’s interest in a new loan arrangement.

This signifies the potential for a follow-up programme with the Fund after completing the current $3 billion stand-by arrangement later this month, as prime minister previously indicated the necessity for another deal with the IMF to stabilise Pakistan’s economy.

Earlier this month, IMF’s Director of Comm­unications Julie Kozack noted Pakistan’s interest in securing its largest loan facility yet and expressed readiness to engage in programme discussions in the coming months.

The IMF is also expected to finalise the disbursement of the last tranche of $1.1 billion from the existing arrangement during the spring meetings.

Pakistan’s Ambassador Masood Khan and officials from the Pakistan embassy welcomed the finance minister at the airport.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2024

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